Zen Ritual: Studies of Zen Buddhist Theory in Practice (review)

Zen Ritual: Studies of Zen Buddhist Theory in Practice (review) second half of the fourteenth century, staging protests in the manner they had for centuries, but now against a common threat from the new schools of Buddhism" (p. 52). Adolphson's detailed study makes extensive use of primary sources and constitutes first-rate scholarship. It challenges received ideas prevalent in Japanese and non-Japanese academia, making it a welcome treat, especially because it is conducted in such a convincing way. Accounts and events needed to illustrate the extent of existing biases are, however, not always easy to digest. Although the writing is smooth and accessible, the amount of information and number of proper names make this book most appropriate for graduate students and scholars. The last section focusing on the contemporary treatment of sohei includes comics and is more ap¯ proachable, but average readers may struggle to overcome the first chapters. This is not a critique and I am delighted to see that excellent publications on specialized topics do not need to yield to a demand for "entertaining the reader." The rich bibliography and the wonderful index, including kanji, are useful additions to this reasonably sized publication of 211 pages. I warmly recommend Adolphson's latest publication to readers interested in revising http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Japanese Studies Society for Japanese Studies

Zen Ritual: Studies of Zen Buddhist Theory in Practice (review)

The Journal of Japanese Studies, Volume 35 (1) – Jan 15, 2009

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Publisher
Society for Japanese Studies
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Japanese Studies
ISSN
1549-4721
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

second half of the fourteenth century, staging protests in the manner they had for centuries, but now against a common threat from the new schools of Buddhism" (p. 52). Adolphson's detailed study makes extensive use of primary sources and constitutes first-rate scholarship. It challenges received ideas prevalent in Japanese and non-Japanese academia, making it a welcome treat, especially because it is conducted in such a convincing way. Accounts and events needed to illustrate the extent of existing biases are, however, not always easy to digest. Although the writing is smooth and accessible, the amount of information and number of proper names make this book most appropriate for graduate students and scholars. The last section focusing on the contemporary treatment of sohei includes comics and is more ap¯ proachable, but average readers may struggle to overcome the first chapters. This is not a critique and I am delighted to see that excellent publications on specialized topics do not need to yield to a demand for "entertaining the reader." The rich bibliography and the wonderful index, including kanji, are useful additions to this reasonably sized publication of 211 pages. I warmly recommend Adolphson's latest publication to readers interested in revising

Journal

The Journal of Japanese StudiesSociety for Japanese Studies

Published: Jan 15, 2009

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